Tesla owners wouldn’t really be pleased to know about the reveal.
Researchers hacked into parked Teslas and explained how they broke into the infotainment system; they even got the doors and trunk of the Teslas open.
The team comprising two security researchers used a drone and hacked Tesla’s open-source software component (ConMann) from a distance, to say, with zero chances to get caught. Meaning that if thieves find out about the special breaking-in pattern, Teslas would be an easy pick for them.
Researchers gained control over Tesla’s infotainment system by finding the compromised passage in the software. Then they used a drone carrying WiFi that allowed them to make a link to Tesla’s software, and eventually opened the car.
The only thing the researchers were not able to control was the driving system of the car. Other than that, they showed gaining control over the car’s computer system, which included maneuvering the seat’s positions, opening the doors and trunk, and shifting between steering and acceleration modes. Precisely, they showed the impact the same as a driver pushing the buttons but isn’t able to put the car on drive mode.
Researchers explained their motive as, “Our mission is to bring the power of cloud computing and emulation for testing embedded automotive systems, at scale.”
Weinmann and Schmotzle published their findings on May 4, earlier, the duo had decided to reveal hacking into a Tesla with the use of drone on last year’s PWN2OWN contest which got delayed due to COVID-19 related closures. Following that, they directly contacted Tesla and informed them of the vulnerabilities and also published their discovery online. However, the company quickly responded to the newfound vulnerabilities and made its EV’s safe from such threats.
Researchers look for the errors and compromising channels in the software and in the following updates. There are plenty of examples where shortcomings in software were traced by an individual for gaining bounty against the finding, this way company’s gain by making their systems fool-proof and market the point accordingly.